152 FLORA INDICA. extensive tracts near the river are covered with dense jungle, chiefly of Acacia AraKca and Prosopis spidgera, the greater part of the surface is barren of vegetation, and the driest parts are an absclnte desert. In the lower part of the delta, within reach of the tides, a low jungle of mangroves occupies the swampy islets. The vegetation of Sindh was first made known to science by Griffith, who traversed the upper part of the province on Ms way to Afghanistan, and has recorded in his private jour- nals and literary notes 'the most characteristic plants which he observed. It has also been explored by Major Vicary, who has published in the Asiatic Society's Journal a list of its plants. For our very complete knowledge of its flora we are, however, mainly indebted to the late Dr. Stocks*, whose la- bours in this interesting province throw much light on Indian "botany. Dr. Stocks' collections amount to little more than four hundred species, so that the flora is a very poor one. No doubt, as he has himself stated, a careful exploration of the hilly districts would considerably increase this number; but we feel confident that the novelties would be almost if not entirely western forms, and would therefore increase the pro- portion, already great, which these bear to forms characteristic of Eastern India vegetation. More than nine-tenths-of the Sindh vegetation, on a. rough estimate, consists of plants which are indigenous in Africa. At least one-half of these are common Nubian or Egyptian plants, but which, from being indifferent to moisture, arc dif- fused over all parts of India. As examples we may mention Gymndropsispentaphylla, Abutilonlndicum, Tributes terrestris, Tephrosia purpurea, Glinus lotoides, Grangea Maderaspatanq, * Since the printing of tho earlier part of this Introduction, Indian botany has sustained ait irreparable loss by the death of Dr. Stocks, from whose labours much was oxpected, and to whom wo )md ourselves looked for valuable assist- ance in tho preparation of these notes on the vegetation of Western Inditw Fortunately for science a vevy complete scries of his collections exists in th<* Hpokerian and Benthamian Herbaria, accompanied by a catalogue very care- fully drawn up, and many important notes, of which we have made use abow.